IPL 2018: Match 18, KKR vs KXIP - Who Said What

"I got to make sure that I should make it big and stay there till the end," Rahul said.

KL Rahul
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Lokesh Rahul of Kings XI Punjab in action. (Photo by Kuntal Chakrabarty/IANS)

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Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) are looking unstoppable currently with the way they are playing in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL). They thrashed the hosts by 9 wickets courtesy the onslaught from their openers, Chris Gayle and KL Rahul. They literally didn’t bother who is bowling and launched an assault on the opposition and ended the game in the powerplay itself. However, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) were left wondering about their chances despite posting a hefty total of 191 runs in their 20 overs.

Chris Lynn finally came to the party on the day as he looked in the mood to take the game away from the visitors and KKR threatened to score more than 200 comfortably. He was well supported by Robin Uthappa and Dinesh Karthik during the course of the innings. But KXIP came back well in the death overs thanks to some brilliant bowling by Andrew Tye who conceded only 6 runs in his last couple of overs. Though the knock from Lynn was the special one for the jam-packed crowd at the Eden Gardens as he smacked 74 runs off just 41 deliveries.

In the chase of 192 runs, the visitors needed their gun players Rahul and Gayle to provide them with a quick-fire start. But they did even more by thrashing the opposition players and denting their confidence. By the time the first 6 overs were done, the hosts were completely on the mat and were out of ideas of how to bowl to the duo who have taken this season by storm. The rain came to the rescue for Karthik and his men in the 9th over when KXIP were ahead by a massive 31 runs.

The play started just before the cut-off time though but only formality was left to complete as they had already got off to a blazing start. KXIP have climbed to the top of the table now with their fourth win of the season.

Man of the Match, KL Rahul said:

I don’t want to stop whatever I am doing. I am in a good space and want to win games. The approach is going to be aggressive and to take the bowlers down within my limitations with whatever I am gifted with. It’s working for me.

The simpler you keep it, the more clearer you will be as a batsman. I don’t want to complicate my batting, just see the ball and hit the ball. I bank a lot on cricketing shots. My feet are moving and I am hitting the ball well.

I got to make sure that I should make it big and stay there till the end. Me and Chris want to back our games. If Chris is going it doesn’t mean I slow down. If he fancies a bowler, then I let him strike. But it hasn’t been that way.

We’ve spoken something else outside, but once we are out there, we just continue what we are doing and not thinking too much.

Kings XI Punjab captain, R Ashwin said:

Lot happier than the previous one. During the second time-out I pulled the boys and told them if we can keep them to 190, it will be a great favour to the batsmen. You don’t really plan with someone like Chris. We are a team that embrace winning the powerplay with the bat.

Orange Cap holder, Chris Gayle said:

I am accustomed to it (about getting the Orange cap). To be honest, I am not worried about the Orange cap. I think Rahul deserves it, he’s been batting really well. I have been striking well and when you are in the zone, you try to keep the momentum going.

I have been doing lot of stretches (about his fitness) and I am enjoying it. It’s really good to contribute to the team. Hope to continue this form.

Kolkata Knight Riders  captain, Dinesh Karthik said:

I think they took us on in the Powerplay and played really good shots. There seems to be a trend where we tend to miss out on the last couple of overs with the bat. It’s important that we finish the innings well.

We didn’t execute plans and a player like Gayle will always hit you if you miss your lengths. The crowds have been great, proud to be playing in front of them and they are big fans of KKR.